MTA president – and director of Yamazaki Mazak – Marcus Burton MBE, used his keynote speech to address some of the hot topics affecting the UK manufacturing sector: Brexit and future trade, climate change, productivity and, of course, MACH 2020.

On productivity he said: “MTA members have the equipment, ideas and expertise for the UK’s manufacturers to transform their productivity. In fact, MTA members are the champions of productivity. As such, we have a huge opportunity, and responsibility, to improve the economic wellbeing of the whole country.”

He continued by highlighting that MACH 2020 is just around the corner: “MACH is the only place in the UK to see such technology on display and under power – but it is more than that – it is the spotlight for our creativity. It’s just 10 weeks away now, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what the champions of productivity have to offer the 25,000+ visitors.”

The MTA president didn’t shirk away from tough topics, addressing concerns on climate change: “The UK Government is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. These changes will cause disruption, but will undoubtedly bring huge opportunities for innovative manufacturers. We must be at the centre of this transformation and develop new products and services using the latest digital technologies.”

On Brexit he reiterated the association’s commitment to engage with government: “Sensible co-operation on regulations, developed by listening to industry, will ensure our sector can continue to be competitive in our biggest market. We need a customs regime that is light touch, and the ability to send people all over the continent at short notice; we need this flexibility to support our customers.”